Rooms with a view

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Rooms with a view
Chickasaw Nation opens retreat and conference center

By Linda Miller

One of the highest points in the Arbuckle Mountains offers more than a sweeping panoramic view.

It’s home to the new Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center, a quiet yet beautifully appointed and amenity loaded center for corporate meetings, conferences, parties and retreats, as well as reunions, weddings, receptions and almost any other kind of group gathering.

And for individuals who just want to pop in for a tour, lunch or an overnight visit, that’s a possibility too later this spring.

Built in 1994 as a diabetes and health improvement resort about 10 miles south of Sulphur, the Chickasaw Nation purchased the complex in 2012 and completely renovated it. The medical aesthetic was wiped away, replaced with warm woods and neutral colors that complement the natural surroundings.

Located on 1,750 acres, the center has 43 guest rooms and suites. “Every room has a gorgeous view,” said Nick Starns, Artesian area general manager. Suites overlook Lake of the Arbuckles; standard rooms offer a mountain vista.

Other amenities include meeting and conference space with state-of-the-art technology, indoor amphitheater with 120 theater seats, great room common area, business center, restaurant and private dining room, full-service catering, pool, fitness center, hot tub, spa, and men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and saunas.

A glass-enclosed executive board room seats 12 and is arguably the best meeting space in the center. Perched on a cliff with spectacular views, it’s almost like being in a tree house.

Reworked hiking trails make a trek outside easier and more comfortable for those who want to breathe in mountain air and get closer to nature.

The center is the latest addition in a growing list of attractions in Sulphur and Davis. Nearby is Lake of the Arbuckles, Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa, Chickasaw Natural Recreation Area, Turner Falls, Chickasaw Cultural Center, Bedre Chocolate and Thunder Valley casino.

“This center is part of our effort to develop new tourism venues and help promote economic development in this area,” said Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby. “We believe the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center provides an ideal destination for work, play, rest and relaxation.”

Anoatubby was on hand for the official opening and ribbon cutting in mid-December, but the center opened without fanfare several months earlier, affording staff an opportunity to fine tune operations before spring and summer bookings fill the calendar.

Initially, the center’s intent was to focus on corporate, wedding and group business, but interest from nearby residents and others who have heard about the facility has caused a slight shift in plans. People have been asking about eating lunch there, spending the night and taking a tour, Starns said.

Moving forward, the goal is to broaden the options and make the center available for day travelers or locals eager to enjoy the food or overnight guests wanting a room with a breathtaking view.

These options are expected to be available this spring.

The view just got better.

Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center is at 4205 Goddard Youth Camp Road in Sulphur. For more information, call (855) 899-8260.

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